Psychology for Technology Whores

Thursday, December 22, 2005
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Almost half of personal computer owners say they can’t imagine life without their computers. About as many cellphone owners say the same thing about their portable phones.

The intense loyalty to high-speed Internet is a sign that people are getting hooked on newer technology. Almost four in 10 people with high-speed Internet say they consider it essential. About two in 10 feel that way about their DVD players, digital cable and CD players.

“Our culture is about distraction, numbing oneself,” said David Greenfield, a Connecticut psychologist who specializes in high-tech issues. “There is no self-reflection, no sitting still. It’s absolutely exhausting.”

…For so many people to consider high-tech gadgetry essential to modern life is no surprise to Greenfield, the psychologist who specializes in Internet addiction.

“Part of the reason is the hype, the commercial selling of it,” he said. “Some people feel the products will improve the quality of their lives. But do we really need to be connected in every way, shape or form?”

Yes we do. Though there is a distinction to be made between “connection” technology and pure entertainment.

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